At our store we like to find some of the best items around. Our Italian groceries like Olive Oils, Rices, Grains, Beans, Herbs, Vegetables, Pastas, Peppers, Coffees, etc., are some of the best available and all personally selected by us. We sell some Imported goods that are not available anywhere in our area. Many stores carry brands for their names alone, hoping to just sell in quantity while forgetting quality. To me, that is a sin.
Discussing all of these things could take days, so I will focus this post on one line of items specifically.
Today I received another personal delivery from one of the owners of the well- known Salumeria Biellese, Paul. They are a family- owned business making and selling fresh and cured meat products from Sausage to Prosciutto to Lardo. Since 1925, the Biellese company has used quality meats, fine spices, and old- world methods to create some of the finest American- made Salumi (Salumi is the Italian name for cured meats, I am not just spelling Salame wrong. After all, Salame is a form of Salumi). They use naturally raised Berkshire and Mangalitsa Pork. Although they are located meer blocks from Manhattan’s tourist traps like Madison Square Garden and Times Square, Biellese’s integrity has been kept strong even after almost 100 years in the business.
Our order today consisted of:
Porcini Salame: Medium in size, this is Salame made with Porcini Mushrooms and Barbera Wine. If you like the earthiness of dried Italian Porcinis, then this is an insanely tasty product for you.
Felino: This is a course ground Salame with old fashioned spices and wine. Originated in Emilia Romagna region.
Coppa: Hot or Sweet. This is one of my favorites, a whole- muscle product from neck/shoulder. The perfect ratio of fat to meat. I like it more than Prosciutto actually. I know, I know, I could be tarred and feathered for saying that but it is true.
Speck: Lightly smoked part of leg, basically Prosciutto but smoky. This is an amazing alternative to the traditional Prosciutto that is so infamous in its flavor and history. An Austrian influence on the Northern Italian culture.
Finocchiona: Sweet, course Salame made with wild fennel and fennel pollen. This is something I have grown to be obsessed with especially since I devoured massive amounts of it in Tuscany last October (its place of origin) and quite pleasantly surprising for someone who grew up not liking fennel at all.
Biellese Salami- Piemonte- style Salame that is mildly spiced. Great on a sandwich or Salumi platter.
All of these items are 100% Berkshire Pork. We also carry the well- loved Guanciale (jowl, kind of like Pancetta) from them which is also Berkshire and a true necessity to make a fine Roman sauce called Amatriciana. We will also be getting more of their Wild Boar Cacciatorini and Sopressata sometime next week.
But, one of my favorite things in the world, next to my Wife and my NJ Devils, is:
It is what it sounds like, the lard, or backfat of the Mangalitsa Pig. It is an Austrian breed of hog that is growing in stardom every day in the Salumi community. Spiced with salt, rosemary, pink and green peppercorns, the Lardo is cured then dried till it is “melt in your mouth” delicious. Lardo can be used for cooking or just eating on top of a nice hot piece of brick oven bread. I know it is not the healthiest thing in the world (although Mangalitsa’s fat is rich in Omega 9s) but it is a decadent treat that you will only understand when you try it. I enjoyed many varieties in Italy, especially in the Tuscan towns and cities, and I feel that Biellese’s is quite good and holds up to the traditional flavors that have been captured for many centuries in Italy.
Stop in soon and try these great meats. . They are all perfect to enjoy with some fine cheeses, breads, and wines. I have the cheese and bread here, unfortunately not the wine, but we never turn down a glass. 😉